PARTS OF THE
Stupas became a cosmic symbol in response to a
major human condition: death. With the
enlightenment of the Buddha, stupas became a
particularly Buddhist symbol.
"The shape of the stupa represents the
Buddha, crowned and sitting in
meditation posture on a lion throne.
His crown is the top of the spire; his
head is the square at the spire's base;
his body is the vase shape; his legs are
the four steps of the lower terrace; and
the base is his throne."
White-domed solid stupa
On a hilltop in Chanspa, Leh district, Ladakh.
It was built in 1991 by Japanese
Buddhist Bhikshu, Gyomyo Nakamura.
The Stupa is built as a
a central golden Buddha image sits on a platform
depicting the “turning wheel of Dharma” .
has reliefs depicting the “birth” of Buddha, the death of
Buddha and Buddha “defeating the devils” while
This stupa is a STUPA OF MODERN TIME.
Neither it has a boundary nor it has TORANAS,
instead it has two stambhas each side of the staircase.
There is only one staircase for the first level of stupa,
connected to the PRADAKSHINA PATH of first level.
On first level, image of Dharma Chakra is sculptured
There are two staircase provided for the second level, both
the staircase are connected to a platform through which
PRADAKSHINA PATH of second level is attached.
In cavity of DOME on the second level there is a golden idol
of Buddha in sitting position, just in front of the platform.
There are other sculptured idol in the cavity each facing
Walls depicts images of parinirvana (nirvana-after-
death) and some small rows of buddha images.
•Kesariya Stupa is located in east district of Bihar.
It is believed to date back to somewhere around 200 AD and 750 AD.
The stupa was built to commemorate the end-life of Lord Buddha.
circumference = 1400 ft Approx
height =104 feet
initially, the height of the stupa
was approximately 150 feet
It has a lofty brick mound
capped by a solid brick tower.
Formerly, it was only a mud stupa.
This stupa is a six floors structure.It
has five terraces and each terrace
differs in shape.
There are a number of images of
Lord Buddha, in ‘Bhoomi Sparsh
Mudra’ and other sitting postures.
Each terrace has niches with
the life size statues of the
Buddha with in it.
The Khaljis in the 13th
century AD, had partly
destroyed these statues.
Structure is larger than the
Borobudur stupa in
The striking similarity in
the two is that both have six
floors, and the diameter of
the Kesaria stupa is equal to
that of the width of the
When seen from above, the
stupa gives an impression of
a mandala, nearly twice as
large as that of Sanchi.
Dhamekh Stupa is at Sarnath.
Constructed by the great Mauryan king Ashoka.
It is 34 m high and 28.3 m in diameter.
It is believed that Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon at the
Dhamekha Stupa, after attaining enlightenment, to his
disciples that revealed his “Eightfold Path“.
The foundation of the
structure is made of very
The lower part is made of
These stones are supported
The base of the Stupa still
stands as it would have been
in the Ashoka’s structure and
the front stone bears floral
designs of Gupta period.
The lower part has
eight faces with
The design consists of
a broad band of
Swastika carved in
Lotus buds and
human figures are
carved in in the band.
BOROBUDUR TEMPLE IS NOT ONLY KNOWN AS A BUDDHIST SHRINE, BUT ALSO
FOR A PILGRIMAGE.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS AND HISTORIANS ESTIMATED THAT IT WAS BUILT DURING
THE SYAILENDRA DYNASTY IN THE 8TH CENTURY.
BOROBUDUR IN 1897
Borobudur is a single large stupa.
When viewed from above takes the form of
Buddhist mandala .
Also representing the Buddhist
cosmology and often drawn as a meditative
Working from the exterior to the interior,
three zones of consciousness are represented,
with the central sphere representing
unconsciousness or Nirvana.
According to this Buddhist cosmology, the
universe is divided in to three major zones.
The Borobudur temple represents these zones
in its layers.
• The phenomenal
world, the world
inhabited by common
• The transitional
sphere, in which
humans are released
from worldly matters.
ZONE 3 • The highest sphere,
the abode of the gods
• The foundation is a square, approx 8
metres on each side.
• The one main dome in the centre is the
highest point of the monument: 35
metres above ground level.
• It has nine platforms, of which the
lower six are square and the upper three
• The upper platform features 72small
stupas surrounding one large central
• Each stupa is bell-shaped and pierced
by numerous decorative openings.
Statues of the Buddha sit inside it.
CROSS SECTION AND RATIO OF THE
There are Buddha
inside niches on each
Rupadhatu level, and
each stupa in
Zone 3 Arupadhatu
Zone 2 Rupadhatu
• Jataka and Avadana
• Bhadracari 72 panels
• Lalitavistara 120
• Gandavyuha 388
Zone 1 Kamadhatu
• Karmawibhangga 160
THE AMRAVATI STUPA ALSO KNOWN AS MAHACHAITYA
RUINED BUDDHIST MONUMENT LOCATED
AT AMARAVATHI VILLAGE, ANDHRA PRADESH
IT IS THE LARGEST STUPA(95 FEET HIGH) IN INDIA.
BUILT - 2ND CENTURY BCE TO 3RD CENTURY AD,
THE STUPA WAS A SIMPLE STRUCTURE,BUT WHEN
RENOVATED BY THE SATAVAHANA RULERS, BECAME A
HIGHLY MARKED ARCHITECTURAL MONUMENT.
AMRAVATI STUPA WAS FOUNDED BY AN EMISSARY OF
THE MAIN PART WAS A SOLID
GREAT DOME WHICH WHICH
WAS 18M HIGH.
THE DOME WAS MADE OF
PALE GREEN LIMESTONE
WHICH WAS MOST PROBABLY
PAINTED WITH BRIGHT
THE LOWER PART OF DOME
WAS COVERED WITH STONE
A SMALL BOX WAS USUALLY
PLACED WITHIN THE DOME
OF A STUPA. WHICH
CONTAINS ASHES OF
THERE WERE FOUR GATEWAYS IN THE RAILING AROUND
THE STUPA. EACH ONE OF THE GATEWAYS MARKED ONE
OF THE FOUR DIRECTIONS.
EACH GATEWAY INTO THE AMARAVATI STUPA WAS A
GROUP OF FIVE PILLARS. THE PILLARS WERE MOUNTED
ON A SPECIAL PLATFORM.
AROUND THE OUTER LIMITS OF THE STUPA WAS A TALL
RAILING MADE OF LIMESTONE. THE RAILING MARKED
BOUNDARIES OF STUPA.
LION SCULPTURES WERE PLACED AT THE GATEWAYS.
LIONS REPRESENTED POWER AND STRENGTH TO
PROTECT THE STUPA.
In the late nineteenth
century most of the
main sculptures of the
stupa were taken from
the site and sent to
Reconstruction of the
stupa is done based on
Amaravati in the
British Museum, 1954)
SANCHI STUPA IN THE CENTRAL PART OF THE STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH.
SANCHI STUPA WAS BUILT BY ASHOKA (273-236 B.C.)
SANCHI STUPAS IS LOCATED ON THE TOP OF THE SANCHI HILL, WHICH
RAISE ABOUT 100M HIGH ABOVE THE PLAIN.
THE 'GREAT STUPA' AT SANCHI IS THE OLDEST STONE STRUCTURE IN INDIA
STUPAS WERE ERECTED OVER THE SACRED RELICS OF THE MONKS AND WORSHIPED
WITH GREAT REVERENCE.
THEY ARE THEREFORE KNOWN AS RELIC-SHRINES.
THE STUPA MORE THEN A FUNERAL MOUND WAS PLANNED LIKE A VEDIC VILLAGE
Great Stupa, Sanchi (Madhya Pradesh)
Steps leading to upper ambulatoryLower Ambulatory 3.35 m. high
Harmika or triple umbrella
1.8m wide3.35m high
Suchi 60 cm dia
VIEW OF TORNA FROM
ELEPHANTS AND YAKSHI OF THE EASTERN TORANA,
GREAT STUPA, SANCHI, MID-1ST CENTURY BC - AD
FRONT VIEW OF SANCHI STUPA
FRONT VIEW OF TORANA
COLUMN OF TORANA